Press Release 11/2014

Newly Reconfigured Nashville Tax Firm Adds Noted Attorney, Launches New Website

Newly Reconfigured Nashville Tax Firm Adds Noted Attorney, Launches New Website

Goodman Callahan Blackstone Brings Personalized Team Approach to Tax Law Practice

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 5, 2014 – Nashville-based Goodman Callahan Blackstone PLLC, an emerging “boutique” tax law firm with offices in Cummins Station, has gained decades of additional experience with the arrival of leading tax attorney William E. (Billy) Blackstone.

Well versed in tax, estate and family business planning, Mr. Blackstone reunites with former colleagues and tax law practitioners Joe Goodman and David Callahan.

Mr. Goodman said. Mr. Callahan added, “Billy has 20-plus years of tax experience. Between him and Joe, we now have quite a pedigree of senior tax attorneys in the firm.” Throughout his career, Mr. Blackstone’s focus has been tax and wealth planning for individuals and families. That includes estate planning, family business succession planning, asset protection, charitable planning and probate administration.

“Billy represents an incredibly important depth of experience in the technical matters associated with tax and estate planning,”

Mr. Goodman said. Mr. Callahan added, “Billy has 20-plus years of tax experience. Between him and Joe, we now have quite a pedigree of senior tax attorneys in the firm.” Throughout his career, Mr. Blackstone’s focus has been tax and wealth planning for individuals and families. That includes estate planning, family business succession planning, asset protection, charitable planning and probate administration.

Blackstone in brief

Originally from Houston, Tex., Mr. Blackstone makes his home in Maury County, at Greenway Farm near Columbia, where he lives with his wife, Elizabeth Kennedy Blackstone, and their family. He holds a J.D. from Washington and Lee University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. He earned his LL.M. in Taxation at Georgetown University in 1991, after which he moved to Tennessee. In 1992 Mr. Blackstone joined the tax-planning firm of Holton & Walker, which Mr. Goodman also joined in 1995. Five years later, Holton Goodman & Blackstone merged with Stokes Bartholomew Evans & Petree, which in turn merged, in 2005, with the multistate Adams and Reese. Mr. Callahan practiced with Adams and Reese as a member of the tax group. Mr. Blackstone went on, in 2008, to form Holton Blackstone & Mayberry before his decision, this past June, to rejoin Mr. Goodman and Mr. Callahan.

“Personal, by definition”

Mr. Blackstone, who has practiced in firms both large and small, said the client-centered, boutique-style approach of Goodman Callahan Blackstone actually enhances the practice of tax law, which some might imagine as being staid or impersonal.

“In fact, it’s a very personal thing, by definition,” Blackstone said. “There’s a special psychology involved in dealing with business planning in a family context. It’s more of a process than an event; an investment, not a cost.”

Mr. Goodman agreed: “Tax lawyers tend to have closer relationships with their clients.”

“We are dealing with highly emotional and sensitive matters,” Mr. Callahan explained. “Our job is to work with our clients in a comprehensive manner to give them peace of mind about their family succession plan. We try hard not to be ‘stuffy’ attorneys.”

That approach is best offered, they believe, in a welcoming, comfortable setting where the emphasis is on accessibility and personal connection. Their choice of stylish, low-key Cummins Station, conveniently near, but not in the heart of downtown, reflects that.

“We make a conscious effort to be a modern, streamlined firm where we’re not just tacking on expenses because we can,” Mr. Callahan said. “We have intentionally built a model with a focus on controlled and moderated overhead expenses. We are cautious and diligent to make sure that any overhead added is necessary overhead.

“That is no knock on the big firms. They have a client base that expects a certain type of office and is willing to pay for those offices. They are corporate clients who want the firm’s appearance to mirror that of their own offices. Many of our clients, by contrast, are successful family business owners. They have built a business that has generated wealth for them and their family. We find that most of them, as entrepreneurs, appreciate the value of a dollar and look for value where they can get it. Our offices are not spartan, but we avoid unnecessary opulence, which means a lot to our clients.”

Team approach

An added benefit of the smaller-size firm, the attorneys say, is the collective expertise they are able to offer clients. They believe that multiple viewpoints enhance their effectiveness. This distinctive team approach — additionally enhanced by Mr. Blackstone’s arrival — also provides clients with the comfort of continuity, since client relationships aren’t invariably limited to individual attorneys.

Mr. Goodman said, “Billy provides a very important transition in our firm” between Mr. Goodman himself, who is in his early 60s, and Mr. Callahan, who is in his mid-30s. “We couldn’t have designed it better,” he said.

Mr. Callahan explained that the firm needed a succession plan just as their clients in business do. “We preach that they must have a succession plan, because without one, there’s going to be an end to their business, often an abrupt and undesirable end. In our type of practice, clients want to make sure that we will be there for them. It gives them comfort that when, for instance, Joe retires, they won’t have to turn to an attorney who has no history with their family.”

Revamped website

Aware that potential clients increasingly research professional service providers as a routine first step, Goodman Callahan Blackstone has redesigned its website to better reflect the firm’s personality and updated services.

The site at gcbtaxlaw.com includes description of the firm’s philosophy as well as essential information on each attorney’s educational background and qualifications.

In addition to the three partners, the firm includes associates Elizabeth Betts Hickman and the newly arrived Michael R. Griffin, who joined this past summer after receiving his LL.M. in Taxation from Northwestern University. A sixth attorney, L. Gino Marchetti, is of counsel.

About Goodman Callahan Blackstone PLLC

Goodman Callahan Blackstone PLLC is a Nashville-based tax law firm serving individuals and families businesses throughout Middle Tennessee. It offers innovative legal services that reflect a detailed understanding of clients’ goals as they pertain to estate planning, tax law, wills and trusts, family business planning, probate administration, probate and estate litigation, corporate governance and operations, and arbitration and mediation. Firm offices are at Cummins Station, 209 10th Avenue South, Suite 506. Please visit gcbtaxlaw.com for more information.

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